Faced with a worrisome increase in young smokers, Iceland's government has come up with something a little radical — prescription-only cigarettes.
The country has proposed a new law that would make it illegal to buy cigarettes without a prescription from a doctor and would make cigarettes available only from pharmacies. The government hopes this practice will cut the amount of smokers from 15 percent of the total population (and 20 percent in teenagers and kids) to less than 10 percent.
Who would get a prescription to smoke? Since under the law nicotine would be classified as an addictive drug, only those who are unable to quit following addiction programs, or those who refuse to quit, would be able to get prescriptions.
If passed, I wonder if doctors in Iceland will feel uneasy about prescribing something that is known to be a major public health issue, or if the program would be the best option for reducing the amount of new addicts. What do you think?